Antony Blinken calls for Palestinian Authority to run Gaza and West Bank after Israel-Hamas war

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Good morning. US secretary of state Antony Blinken has provided Washington’s most detailed plan for the postwar future of Gaza, saying the enclave should be politically unified with the West Bank under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

The US’s top diplomat reiterated the Biden administration’s position that Israel should not reoccupy Gaza after its war with Hamas, but left open the possibility that the Jewish state could play a role in a “transition period”.

“It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority,” Blinken said after a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Japan yesterday.

Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007 after it fought rival Palestinian faction Fatah in the strip.

The PA, which is dominated by Fatah, administers parts of the West Bank, but it is weak and lacks credibility among many Palestinians. Arab officials have cautioned it is unrealistic to expect the PA to easily move into Gaza and replace Hamas — if Israel succeeds in defeating the Islamist group, which is deeply embedded in Palestinian society.

Read more on the G7 meeting in Tokyo and Blinken’s visits with Middle East leaders this week. Plus, latest developments in the conflict:

  • Exodus: Thousands of Palestinians fled northern Gaza on foot as Israeli troops battling Hamas militants moved into Gaza City.

  • EU rebukes Turkey: The EU said it was in “complete disagreement” with Turkey’s stance on Hamas after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to the Palestinian militant group as a “liberation” movement.

Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Chinese economy: China publishes consumer and producer price data for October, which is likely to show the country falling back into deflation.

  • Companies: SoftBank, Sony Group, Honda and Nissan are among those reporting.

Five more top stories

1. SoftBank was forced to wire $1.5bn to Goldman Sachs and other lenders days before WeWork filed for bankruptcy. The cost of one of the worst venture capital investments in history has continued to mount for the Japanese group, which has now committed more than $16bn to WeWork since its initial investment in 2017.

2. The US will lend $553mn for the development of a container terminal in Sri Lanka operated by Indian tycoon Gautam Adani. The deal is an example of how Washington and New Delhi are competing with Beijing for influence in the region — and how they are responding to a debt crisis in Sri Lanka.

3. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka has denied having any involvement in drafting financial statements that allegedly overvalued the former president’s business empire. Here’s what she said on the witness stand yesterday in the $250mn civil fraud lawsuit.

  • More US news: Joe Biden’s Democratic party secured victories in a series of US state and local elections, providing a boost for the president as he confronts declining approval ratings ahead of a fight for re-election next year.

4. South Korean defence companies fear a series of multibillion-dollar arms deals to Poland are being put at risk by an expected change of government in Warsaw. Here’s why Seoul is worried deals worth a total of $13.7bn for tanks, howitzers and rockets could be cancelled.

5. Sanjeev Gupta’s Australian steel business InfraBuild is offering to pay high interest rates to regain access to the bond market, in a deal that could help unlock funds to repay some of the metal magnate’s creditors. Businesses within Gupta’s GFG Alliance have struggled to borrow money since the collapse of its main lender Greensill Capital.

Visual Story

Overdoses killed nearly 110,000 Americans last year. The drug that was by far most responsible for those deaths was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times as potent as heroin. The US government has made attempts to target the manufacturer of the drug but, as the FT’s visual storytelling team shows, the drug’s supply chain that spans from China to Mexico is very hard to disrupt.

We’re also reading . . . 

Map of the day

The encirclement this week of Gaza City by Israeli forces is the latest step in their mission to destroy Hamas. The campaign will expose Israel’s troops to the perils of close combat, while placing Palestinians directly in the crossfire between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces.

A map of Gaza

Take a break from the news

“Not caring is the biggest perk of middle age — or so it would seem,” writes the FT’s Emma Jacobs. As she waits for the day when she’ll no longer give a damn, Jacobs investigates whether this enlightened state really does arrive for those in their mid-life.

Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and David Hindley

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